Thursday, July 31, 2008

touch would

Patty Chang, Touch Would

29 July – 29 September 2008

The Arrow Factory is pleased to present Touch Would, a new work by New York based artist Patty Chang.

Touch Would is a multilayered video project that centers on the concept of translation—mistranslation, cultural translation, interpretation and performance. It takes as its departure point two concrete events, the first being a text written by cultural critic Walter Benjamin about the Asian American film starlet Anna May Wong after their meeting in Berlin in 1928; and the second a knifethrowing sequence from Song, one of Wong’s early silent films. Reimagined and reinterpreted in a contemporary context, these events form a lens through which Chang explores notions of public/private space, staged performance, and linguistic mishap. Shot in Beijing and co-produced by the Arrow Factory, Touch Would is a two-channel video work with words and actions that move around a periphery, as if to reference the elusive goals of translation and endless efforts to reach the ‘center’ of meaning. The presentation of Touch Would in Arrow Factory’s storefront furthers this ambiguity, with seats and tables that resemble a waiting room or doctor’s office positioned behind glass to imply an internal viewer.

Touch Would originates from Chang’s video piece A Chinoiserie Out of the Old West, 2006, which depicts the translation of Walter Benjamin’s text from German to English. Continuing to translate the text across land from China to Europe, Chang will enact a game of ‘Chinese whispers’ whereby each translation is folded into the next, with the meaning moving farther and farther from the ‘center’ and traversing cultural and geographical lines. Touch Would forms one stop along this trajectory. It is part of a larger constellation of Chang’s projects that explore the processes of mythmaking, constructed identities and the production of real and fictive cultural imaginaries. Chang’s earlier film projects include Flotsam Jetsam (2007) in collaboration with David Kelley, a layered narrative addressing themes of landscape and identity against the backdrop of Yichang, a town near the Three Gorges Dam project; and Shangri-La (2005) which documented her real visit to the imaginary place of Shangri-La located in Zhongdian, Yunnan Province.

Patty Chang (b. 1972) was born in California and received her BFA from the University of California, San Diego. She currently resides in New York. Chang is a 2008 finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize, and was recently featured in the MOMA New Directors series for her work Flotsam Jetsam (2007). Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally.


张怡, 《可能接触》



《可能接触》是一个以翻译、无译、跨文化传译、诠释和表演概念为核心的多层次录像艺术作品。它以两个具体事件为起点,其一是文化评论家瓦尔特·本雅明 (Walter Benjamin)1928年与美国亚裔电影明星黄柳霜(Anna May Wong)在柏林相遇之后所写的有关这位女星的文章;其二是选自黄柳霜早期默片《爱比刀更厉》(Song) 中的飞刀片断。这些事件经过当代语境下的重新想象和重新解读,成为张怡用来探索公共/私密空间概念、舞台表演以及语言灾难的一只镜头。《可能接触》在北京 拍摄,由箭厂空间共同制作,是一部双频录像作品,台词和动作围绕外围不断游走,仿佛指涉了翻译难以捉摸的目标以及为达致意义的“核心”而付出的无尽努力。 《可能接触》在箭厂空间的橱窗式展厅中放映,更加深了这种不确定性,类似候诊室或医生办公室的桌椅摆在玻璃背后,暗示了一位内在的观看者。

《可能接触》源自张怡2006年的录像作品《西部概念里呈现的中国风味》,该片描写了瓦尔特·本雅明的著作从德文译为英文。不断地从中国到欧洲跨地域地翻 译该文本,张怡上演了一出“轻声传话”的游戏,每个译本被转入到下一个译本中,而意义逐渐偏离了“核心”,并跨越了文化和地理的界限。《可能接触》形成了 这条轨迹线上的一站,是张怡众多作品的组成部分,这些作品探讨了传奇的演绎过程、建构同一性、现实和虚构中的文化假象的形成。张怡先前的影片包括与大卫· 凯利(David Kelley)合作的《漂流物》(2007年),以三峡大坝附近的宜昌作为背景,运用多层次的叙事手法揭示环境与身份的主题;《香格里拉》(2005年) 则记录了她实地考察文学中虚构的位于云南省中甸的香格里拉。

张怡,1972年出生于美国加利福尼亚,在圣迭戈加州大学获得美术学士学位,目前定居于纽约。2008年成为Hugo Boss Prize候选人,其作品《漂流物》(2007年)入选MOMA举办的新导演系列作品。作品曾在国际上多次举办个展和群展。

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the fever

olympics antics have descended upon the capital. in addition to all the bizarreness reported in the media, here is a brief listing of the idiocy that i have experienced first hand:
  • taking photos of foliage around town prompts neighborhood watchmen to inquire about what you're doing
  • every single available advertising space is taken by either government propaganda declaring 'Beijing 2008' with the asinine tag line 'One World, One Dream', or a logo from an official sponsor.
  • our friends who run a bed and breakfast out in huairou, an hour and forty-five minutes away from beijing, have been told that they are not allowed to receive any overnight visitors.
  • drivers have been restricted to even and odd days, depending on the final number of one's license plate. yesterday wangwei's license plate was stolen off the back of his car. his front plate remained intact. as he was driving, a cop pulled him over and threatened to fine him 200RMB because the cop said he purposely took the plate off.
i'm sure it will only get more ridiculous and annoying. the city is under seige.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

casting off tvs and dvd players?

Beijing denizens, if you are leaving town or upgrading your home
theater system please note: we at the arrow factory are looking for
donations of tvs, dvd players and sound equipment for our upcoming
exhibition. Instead of giving it to your ayi, or throwing it on the
street, give it to us! art is a good cultural cause, recycling is
environmentally friendly, and we'd be forever grateful. We'll even
list you as a donor on our website and buy you a pancake from the bing
stand next door. what a deal!

drop us a line at if you got some goods.